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Distance Scale
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:44 am    Post subject: Distance Scale Reply with quote

Is there an easy way to calculate/mark distance on a Super Graphic (other than trial & error)? The standard scale on mine doesn't work due to the metal 'ribbon' being broken.

I tried cannibalising a distance scale from another (Crown) Graphic but discovered it wouldn't fit onto the rails.

I often use a Crown Graphic to zone focus, but would like to use the Super for that as well if possible.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The standard scale on mine doesn't work due to the metal 'ribbon' being broken.

I assume you're referring to the actuator piece at the rear of the bed? If so its part of the rangefinder tube. I just finished a 1958 Super and that actuator strip was not attached but on later serial number bodies it was attached.
Somewhere in the earliest post on this site a member attempted to make an actuator strip from an old tape measure.

The simplest solution will be to put a piece of painters tape on the bed guide, mark next to the front? edge of the infinity stop when the lens is at infinity. Next set up a test target, mount the camera on a tripod, measure from the focus panel to the target for 25 feet, 15 feet, 10 feet, 8 feet, 6 feet, 4 feet ground glass focusing at each distance and marking the tape on the bed.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I assume you're referring to the actuator piece at the rear of the bed? If so its part of the rangefinder tube. I just finished a 1958 Super and that actuator strip was not attached but on later serial number bodies it was attached.


Yes, I guess so. The actuator's there (& I think unattached), but there's nothing extending from the rangefinder tube. Manually moving the strip doesn't change the scale either.

By focus panel, do you mean the ground glass? Also, do you have any recommendations for marking the bed (if I'm understanding your suggestion correctly; it might be me being tired but I'm having trouble picturing it in my head, although I think I have the gist)
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Open the cam door, is there a cam in the slot?
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1sPJkp-MdghaXh3eDAxZW9UOFU/view?usp=sharing&resourcekey=0-yPqxqZ0f5X1_otAEOvcwaQ
Service manual: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TR2qR_wjn2njGYAkm6CCzlWQX18z_W-k/view?usp=sharing
Focus panel is the frame assembly that holds the ground glass and fresnel.

Infinity is roughly the lens focal length from the ground glass. As you focus on closer distances the front standard/lens moves forward from the ground glass.
Attaching a strip of painters tape to the bed next to the rails use a straight edge to mark the position of the front standard at each desired focus distance. You can use any part of the front standard for the reference.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upon closer inspection (as well as using some dental floss to tie a connection b/w the actuator strip & the arm on the rails), it seems my cam is missing some sort of spring that would create tension on the cam is the strip moves back & forth. As it is, the distance scale only moves after the cam is manually slid to one end & the rails/arm is pushing the strip back in (after being extended), but not when the strip is being pulled/extended.

Do you happen to know what kind of spring is needed? I was unable to find a specific type in the schematics you linked.

Edit: Upon even closer inspection, the lack of the spring is what's causing my distance scale woes. There's also a slight calibration issue: the scale doesn't hit infinity without manual adjustment of the cam, perhaps due to a different tension issue.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To remove the rangefinder tube on a Super you have to remove the bellows.
If your camera's serial number is 646124 or lower use
https://learncamerarepair.com/downloads/pdf/Graflex-Super-Graphic-Service-Version1.pdf . The serial number is on the right inside opening of the camera bed opening. If your camera's serial number is above 646124 use https://learncamerarepair.com/downloads/pdf/graflex-super-graphic-service-instructions.pdf . The serial number is above the battery opening.
Now, with the bellows extended to a close focus distance open the cam door and push the cam to the left/infinity position then release, does the cam stay in place or does it move to the right? (ensure the cam follower arm has not fallen over the end of the cam.)
Assembly is, left to right, end of tube crimped, spring with plunger on the right end, cam, plunger, 43 balls and 43 spacers, plunger with pin that attaches the slide, bed actuator.
Now if the cam moves to the right after being moved to the left with the bed extended then the tube is dirty. Remove the tube, release the crimped edge holding the spring in (early serial number bodies may not have a crimped tube), remove the spring with plunger, tilt the open end of the tube down and remove the second plunger without allowing the balls and spacers to fall out, over a open container tip the open end of the tune down and allow the balls and spacers to fall into the container. Tilt the bottom of the tube up then the open end into the container repeatedly until all balls and spacers have come out of the tube. Flush the tube, balls, spacers with 90% Isopropyl Alcohol or similar cleaning solvent.
Reassembly is ball, spacer, ball until all balls and spacers are in then the inner plunger then the spring with plunger. Do not use any lube, wet or dry.
The tube can be bent at the cam slot preventing the cam from sliding easily in the slot. Expand the slot if necessary just enough to allow the cam to slide easily before removing the tube.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cam doesn't move unless I push it with my finger. Looking at the schematics you've sent, I thought I was missing the spring & plunger (left of the cam in the schematics) that would normally move the cam automatically. There's no tension & it slides freely back & forth in place when I nudge it & then doesn't move at all. But while looking for the serial, I saw a long spring dangling uselessly outside the plunger shaft which is probably what's causing my problem (it doesn't have a plunger, so it might be the opposite that's extending out). I'm unsure of how to get it back where it needs to be & dread the idea of having to remove the bellows myself (I'm afraid I'd make some other problem while doing so, like losing the balls & spacers in the plunger or something).

The rangefinder plunger itself seems to have the balls & spacers after all, as I can see the external plunger extruding/moving back & forth when fiddling with the cam now that I've looked at it more carefully (I also removed the floss as I realized I'd misunderstood the mechanics--originally I thought the hole in the actuator ribbon was supposed to hook up with the actuator arm & had slipped out & I was going to recalibrate it, but I realise now that the tension from the cam should always be exerting an outward push on the ribbon & the actuator arm should push inward/against as the rails retract).

It's possible I might need a new spring, as the one extending out isn't very taut & I'm afraid it might be bent/crimped but hope not &, if I do, hope the spring & plunger aren't terribly specialized, as I think the range finder would also work (in addition to the distance scale, which I was just going to try & zone focus with if the rf didn't work) if I could get this damn thing fixed.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had to take the spring out, expand it, then reinstall it to get enough tension to move the cam.
It sounds like you have an early version and the spring slipped out during reinstallation when someone had it out. The tube fits tightly enough against the case to prevent the spring from coming out during use.

You may find these of intrest:
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4647
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4653
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6211
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you linking those threads because I need to remove the rangefinder to reinstall the spring? Or should I remove the bellows? I'm kind of learning all this right now. Is it very tricky to do you think?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought you might find them interesting. You only need to remove the bellows to gain access to the RF tube.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And do you remove the bellows by unscrewing screws 13 & 14 (p. 30 of the Service Manual Version 1) as well as the two screws on the bottom & two on the right? I think it'd be no problem to get them out, but I'm worried I wouldn't be able to get the wires/connectors on the top in the right place when reinstalling the bellows.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have the early version. The screws positions are important on reassembly.
The foil that runs from the front standard to the rangefinder pressure fit with those screws. You also have to remove item 12 , there are 6 of them, 2 top and bottom, 1 left and 1 right. Rotate the back to 22°to 45° to access them. Pry up on one end with a small screwdriver then pull off.
Installation: seat the rear bellows frame in the back then install the clips by starting one end then press into place.
The left most electrical contact is only attached to the paper insulator and may come off. The other two are connected to the rangefinder tabs and may be soldered in place, no need to remove them unless removing the rangefinder.
The bellows are crimped to the front standard, do not disassemble as you may not get them crimped on reassembly.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good news is I was able to successfully remove the bellows & reinsert the spring (although I haven't tackled reinstall yet so we'll see how that goes). Thank you.

The bad news is it seems there's something wrong with the action: the actuator strip is a bit scratchy/rough as it's being pushed back in as the rails retract & the latter won't fully retract without bending the strip. Consequently the distance scale sort of freezes up before reaching infinity due to the strip not moving any farther. (Edit, it moves past 10' now, but for some reason, the scale never reaches infinity, it seems the plunger doesn't push the cam all the way for some reason)

The strip also fails to pop out by itself as the rails expand, in spite of the spring being where it should be.

Edit: I tried to see if I could clean the plunger per your earlier instructions but it turns out there's a crimp that won't allow the plunger etc. to be removed. Also the strips in rough shape. It's still usable, but it has a crack & is bending dramatically upwards on the bed end.

Edit: After merely flushing the plunger w/ rubbing alcohol (debatable how effective this was), it seems much smoother & the actuator strip's actually springing out now. Unfortunately, the strip being deformed causes it to snag before it can spring fully out with the bed extended.


Last edited by wiux on Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 4042
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the tube out look at the bottom of the slide plunger, there is a pin that slides in a slot. The tube usually has to be against the back wall of the body for there to be enough movement of the slide to move the cam to infinity.
Measure the height of your cam and mark it at .695 inch from the base. This point must be under the peak of the follower arm to get infinity on the rangefinder.
The tube needs to be clamped down at the slide end if there is to be a chance of the slide to work. The slide on the early version is thicker metal than the later version. The guide forms a bend at the bed hinge from being closed, sometimes it drags on the plastic bed guide.
With the tube clamped in place and the .695 point on the cam under the peak of the follower arm point the rangefinder at an infinity target at least 5000 feet away. If the mirror images are not in consistence then the rangefinder is out of calibration regardless of what the indicator shows.
If the slide will not push the cam to the infinity point the tube is missing balls or spacers. 1/16 bearings ball will work and up to three can be used behind the right plunger at the top of the tube.
If the mirror images are in consistence with the cam at infinity under the follower arm and the indicator is off then remove the top cover and reposition the inductor.
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just readjusted the plunger brackets to move the arm over, which seemed to do the trick; the arrow now points at infinity with the rails fully retracted. Will test the rangefinder accuracy tomorrow when there's more light.

Out of curiosity, what is the actuator strip made of? Is it possible to solder it perhaps or somehow fix the crack? The scale works up until ~6.5', which is also roughly where the crack on the strip is. I suspect fixing the strip would solve everything & finally let me reattach the bellows. I'm unsure if I can make a replacement out of a tape measure. For one, I wouldn't know how to attach the new strip to the plunger pin.


Last edited by wiux on Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:04 am; edited 2 times in total
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